Devices & Diagnostics

Why this top 5 startup list makes me optimistic about actual innovation in healthcare

Every month in the Startup Index, we publish a list of the startup stories that got the most attention. Scroll down to the end of the report to find this list. There is usually a common thread among the companies in the list – geography, focus, industry sector. This month the list is all over […]

Every month in the Startup Index, we publish a list of the startup stories that got the most attention. Scroll down to the end of the report to find this list.
There is usually a common thread among the companies in the list – geography, focus, industry sector. This month the list is all over the place:

  1. Rx Savings Solutions
  2. Clean Bite
  3. Glow app
  4. B-Shoe
  5. Smart Vision Labs

Download the full report here.


We’ve got a tool for managing expensive drugs, a no-water-needed toothbrush, a fertility app, shoes to stop falls and a small, cheap, portable eye exam device. The initial customer for these companies is an individual with a particular problem, but the benefits of these products stretch into the business of healthcare.

If more people take their meds as directed – if more people can afford to get their meds in the first place! – that has the potential to reduce readmissions and to make more money for the drug companies. The CDC estimates that falls cost us $30 billion in direct medical costs. This doesn’t even take into account how life-shattering a fall can be for an individual – loss of independence, loss of mobility, pain and often death. In developing countries, untreated vision problems often lead to blindness and there are very few healthcare providers who can do vision exams. The cost of blindness could go up to $4.3 million per year in sub-Saharan Africa.

There is so much going on. There are so many people working to change every aspect of healthcare.

Yes, there is duplication of effort.
Yes, many of these companies will fail.

But our fee-for-service, expensive and inefficient system won’t survive the current momentum, the new access to data, the focus on reducing unnecessary care and the emphasis on changes that benefit the patient.

The healthcare executives and investors and entrepreneurs currently working to change America’s healthcare system will be remembered as the ones who made “innovation in healthcare” a reality, instead of just a meaningless phrase.

Download the full report and read about all the healthcare startups we reported on in January.

[Image from flickr user Weisser Photography]